Multimode fibre: A pathway towards deep-tissue fluorescence microscopy

Martin Plöschner, Tomáš Tyc, Tomáš Cizmár

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Fluorescence microscopy has emerged as a pivotal platform for imaging in the life sciences. In recent years, the overwhelming success of its different modalities has been accompanied by various efforts to carry out imaging deeper inside living tissues. A key challenge of these efforts is to overcome scattering and absorption of light in such environments. Multiple strategies (e.g. multi-photon, wavefront correction techniques) extended the penetration depth to the current state-of-the-art of about 1000μm at the resolution of approximately 1μm. The only viable strategy for imaging deeper than this is by employing a fibre bundle based endoscope. However, such devices lack resolution and have a significant footprint (1mm in diameter), which prohibits their use in studies involving tissues deep in live animals. We have recently demonstrated a radically new approach that delivers the light in/out of place of interest through an extremely thin (tens of microns in diameter) cylindrical glass tube called a multimode optical fibre (MMF). Not only is this type of delivery much less invasive compared to fibre bundle technology, it also enables higher resolution and has the ability to image at any plane behind the fibre without any auxiliary optics. The two most important limitations of this exciting technology are (i) the lack of bending flexibility and (ii) high demands on computational power, making the performance of such systems slow. We will discuss how to overcome these limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems
EditorsBenjamin J. Eggleton, Stefano Palomba
Place of PublicationBellingham
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781628418903
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 6 Dec 20159 Dec 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherSPIE Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Applications Symposium


  • multimode optical fibre
  • digital holography
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • micro-endoscopy
  • wavefront shaping


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